Learn How to Honour Your Feelings – They Matter
Sometimes it can be hard to validate and honour your own feelings, especially if you think your feelings are wrong, or if you feel your emotions aren’t ‘appropriate’. Whatever goes through your mind that makes the decision it isn’t safe or appropriate to honor your feelings, then you are choosing to disconnect from your core self and who you are. Underneath these thoughts is usually a deep fear that you think you may be judged, put down, or that your feelings and desires aren’t as important as others.
I know from my own personal experience I have found it very challenging to name my feelings, wants and desires for myself, particularly in relationships. This was largely due to a fear of hurting the other person, the importance of placing their needs before my own, and burying my feelings like they didn’t matter.
At that time a good friend of mine asked me what made me happy. I was dumb founded… I couldn’t answer that question. I did not not know what I wanted for myself, what my passions were, or where I wanted to be. I had been putting other’s needs before my own for so long, I never stopped to think what I wanted, or how I felt. I lost myself.
I soon learned that my feelings are like a compass guiding me where I need to go. Without listening to your compass, you can get lost pretty easily.
Honouring your feelings doesn’t mean being selfish, it means listening to your inner guidance and being honest with how you feel and what you want. It is okay if you don’t want the same for yourself as what your mum, dad, sister, or friend wants for you. Being honest with yourself also allows you to connect with other people on a deeper more meaningful level. If you are authentic, others will often be authentic too.
There can be a number of reasons why it is challenging for us to honor our feelings. Some of the common reasons are:
- It is uncomfortable to feel or express what we are feeling
- We have been educated to put other people’s needs before our own, often being called selfish if we put our needs first
- We don’t value who we are, often taking other’s opinions and ideas over our own – forgetting what it is like to to trust our own judgement
- Worry that other people will judge us or put us down
Unfortunately these things can get in the way of being true to yourself, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn to work through these areas by following some of the steps below.
Follow these steps to honour your feelings
1. Stop Hiding the Way You Feel, Be Real.
Your feelings need to be listened to. It is your heart and soul telling you what you need, what you aren’t getting, and it signals you to notice it. Your feelings are valid and it is important for you to experience them for what they are by acknowledging or actioning them if you need to. The worst thing I did was not communicate how I was feeling in relationships, and it got me stuck in relationships I didn’t want to be in. I wasn’t happy, and I needed to listen to that. Your feelings guide you to the right choices for you, honor them.
2. Let Go of Self Judgement & Validate Your Own Feelings.
More often than most, we disconnect from our feelings by judging it. A feeling comes up and we say to ourselves “I shouldn’t be feeling this way”, or “if I share this, or do this, I will be judged for being a horrible person.” We criticize our thoughts as if it were between life and death. Our parents, friends, or teachers told us “stop crying, get over it, you don’t need to be like that, you don’t need to feel that way”, so you judge it as wrong. Suppressing your true feelings has consequences on yourself and others around you. Your feelings are worthy of acknowledgement, what if you honored your feelings without judgement – how would you benefit?
3. Stop Telling Yourself the Same Story.
Boy as humans do we like drama. We feel hurt and upset, and we like to relive the same pain over and over again in our head. We tell our mother’s, sister’s. friends, aunties you name it, about that person that made you feel bad, or that person that did wrong by you, and sometimes we tell this story for months. This story that you tell over and over, can take you out of your emotional experience. You can get attached to the story more than to the emotion you felt. It can take minutes to feel an emotion and work through it, or you can drag it out. But why would you do that to yourself, or others around you? Next time, don’t rationalize or dramatize your emotions, really feel the emotions and then let it go. Rationalizing your feelings through story keeps you stuck without feeling, dis-empowering yourself. Empower yourself by truly feeling it and letting it go.
4. Get Some Support
Some of us are better at working through our emotions than others, and sometimes we just need to get that support when we get a little lost along the way. Surrounding yourself with people who love you, who want the best for you, and above all support you in honouring your feelings instead of trying to find solutions to your problems is priceless.
Allowing yourself to grow into the wonderful person you are requires you to honor and respect your own feelings. Don’t block yourself out. Listen.